NJ: DEP Study Predicts Dramatic Sea Level Rise Along Jersey Shore

A new study from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection projects seas could rise from 2000 levels by up to 1.1 feet by 2030, 2.1 feet by 2050 and 6.3 feet by 2100 in New Jersey, emphasizing the urgency of adaptation work to make the state more resistant to climate change effects. The accompanying report shows New Jersey has already been disproportionately affected by climate change, with sea level rise projections more than two times the global average.

The Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms study, commissioned by the DEP and prepared by Rutgers University and leading climate change experts, was released last week during the first meeting of the newly formed Interagency Council on Climate Resilience. The council, comprised of representatives from 17 state agencies and chaired by the governor’s office, was formed via Gov. Phil Murphy’s recent Executive Order 89, which commits to developing and implementing a Statewide Climate Resilience Strategy. The council will serve to facilitate a whole-of-government response to the climate crisis.

“New Jersey is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and we must work together to be more resilient against a rising sea and future storms,” said Murphy.

The state, said the DEP, “is particularly susceptible to the impacts of rising oceans due to its long coastline, the long-term natural sinking of land through subsidence, its latitudinal position in relation to the bulging of oceans caused by the earth’s rotation, ocean circulation patterns and other factors.”

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